The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) is to engage with the wider farming, food and environmental sectors on a possible future agricultural policy framework for Northern Ireland.

Following any agreed transition period, the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) will no longer apply to Northern Ireland once the UK leaves the European Union.

Therefore, the views of stakeholders are being sought on a ‘Future Agricultural Policy Framework’ document which will help to shape the debate on future support arrangements for the region.

Similar documents have already been developed for other parts of the UK, such as Wales.

Widening engagement

Norman Fulton, deputy secretary of the department's food and farming group, said: “Following our initial and very positive engagement with a number of stakeholders representing farming, food and environmental interests, we are now seeking views from across a much broader range of stakeholders on possible future agricultural support arrangements in NI as we prepare to leave the EU.

CAP payments have been important in sustaining the industry, underpinning its competitive trading position and developing its environmental performance, so it is essential that the industry in NI is provided with some certainty in relation to future support arrangements in the shorter term.

"There is also a need to develop a longer-term agricultural policy framework and deliver a managed transition over a number of years."

The Northern Ireland Future Agricultural Policy Framework Stakeholder Engagement document is on the DAERA website at:

Responses can be made to the department up until October 10, 2018.